Updated:
August 24, 2006

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August 2006

U.S. Rep. Joe Barton praised the Texas effort to secure the $1 billion FutureGen project for Texas after touring the proposed Jewett FutureGen site on August 14. Both of the Texas sites submitted for the Department of Energy project have been named to the list of only four sites still under consideration for the project. Rep. Barton made the comments following a tour of the site and an overview of the Jewett proposal from leaders of the Texas FutureGen effort, including BEG Director Scott Tinker. “At a time when the United States is becoming increasingly focused on developing clean, alternative sources of energy, FutureGen promises to make the goal a reality. I want to congratulate the four sites on the short list,” said Rep. Barton, chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

Dr. Tinker noted the Jewett proposal follows the public-private partnership model for FutureGen, which will be sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy and the FutureGen Alliance, an international consortium of 10 energy companies. “FutureGen is designed as a public-private partnership that will move energy research from the laboratory to commercial application so this country can take full advantage of an abundant natural resource to meet our growing demand for energy while protecting the environment,” Dr. Tinker said.

BEG Director Dr. Scott W. Tinker, Texas Railroad Commissioner Michael L. Williams, Congressman Joe Barton, Steve Winn, President, NRG Texas; David Crane, CEO of NRG Energy, Mark Seglem, President, Texas Westmoreland Coal Company, Zak Covar, Office of the Governor, Gail Green, Office of Senator John Cornyn, Carl Mica, Office of Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, and Dr. Richard Ewing, Vice President of Research, Texas A&M University. 08/19/06


Namsu Park recently defended and completed his dissertation “Discrete Element Modeling of Rock Fracture Behavior: Fracture Toughness and Time-Dependent Fracture Growth” supported by the Fracture Research & Application Consortium in the Department of Petroleum & Geosystems Engineering. Jon Olson supervised the research and Steve Laubach and Jon Holder from FRAC served on Namsu’s committee.


Bureau scientist Rob Reed was featured in an Austin American-Statesman story about the Texas Natural Science Center of the Texas Memorial Museum, which holds identification days (of rocks and other natural objects) twice a year. The story appeared in the August 7 issue in the Metro & State section—“What’s That? The Science Pros Know: Texas Memorial Museum Helps Collectors Categorize Their Finds.”
Twice a year, the Texas Memorial Museum at the Texas Natural Science Center holds Identification Day. Rob Reed of UT’s Bureau of Economic Geology examines a piece of metamorphic rock called schist that 5-year-old Broch Evans found in Canada.


Associate Director Eric Potter attended the First Regional Carbon Management Symposium in Dharan, Saudi Arabia, May 22–24. The event was sponsored by Aramco, the first oil company to organize a globally focused carbon-management event. There were 400 attendees from 100 institutions in 24 countries. Eric gave a summary of the BEG-led Frio 1 pilot CO2 injection project and a summary of EOR potential in the U.S. Gulf Coast, emphasizing stacked sinks and co-location with CO2 sources. The kickoff talk by Aramco CEO Abdallah Jum’ah was a significant message to employees and to the industry. He said that “the petroleum industry should and must be part of the solution,” adding that “it’s not just a regulatory question.” 08/10/06



A tip of the Bureau fedora to Dr. Timothy A. (“Tip”) Meckel, who recently signed on with the Gulf Coast Carbon Center. Tip has an M.S. degree from the University of Montana in Missoula and received his doctorate from the Institute for Geophysics and Department of Geological Sciences here at UT. A former Mendenhall Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the U.S. Geological Survey, Tip has hit the ground running here at the Bureau by taking on the job of coordinating the weekly Bureau seminars. Good luck, Tip! 08/09/06    


Kira Diaz-Tushman, Steve Laubach, andRandy Marrett received the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, Energy Minerals Division (EMD) Best Poster Award for "Fracture Pattern Heterogeneity in Km-Scale Reservoir Analog Outcrops," which was presented at the AAPG Annual Convention in Houston in April. 08/03/06